Daily Archives: August 9, 2011

Games Completed in 2011, #27 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One

Hey, remember when I played a little bit of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One for the Nintendo DS last month? Well, immediately after the alloted 30 minutes of review coverage was up, I actually came down with a severe case of sadisticaurus meh, a horrible fever-inducing infection that makes gamers play horrible videogames simply to add them to a “completed games” list.

Yes, I continued to play Deathly Hallows, Part One, all the way to the end credits, simply because I knew I could polish it off in a few hours, not at all because I was having a good time. If I was having a good time, I’d have played it to the end as well, but I wouldn’t feel so guilty, much like I do right now. Well, the first step in admitting you’re a completionist-whore is…admitting you’re a completionist-whore. Hi, my name is Paul, and I like to complete things.

What else can I say about Deathly Hallows, Part One that wasn’t said so viciously in my half-hour review?

Not much. It sucks. It doesn’t even try to grasp some of that Rowling magic, and it is beyond a waste of material. Throughout the game, there is still a lack of music, a lack of innovation, a lack of fun. I have to wonder if anyone outside the development team gave it a look before it shipped. Probably not. If you’re looking for a fun Harry Potter game on the Nintendo DS, this is not it. Go for the LEGO version instead. I beg you.

And that’s it. I refuse to spend more time and words on this matter.

::Apparates the funk outta here::

Advertisements

Witness that I am intrigued over Jonathan Blow’s The Witness

Great, truly unique puzzles are hard to come by these days. We’ve seemingly done everything across a myriad of videogames spanning the past, present, and future: move blocks, match colored gems, flip switches, use portals to our advantage, bend time,  and so on. I thought the cloning and time-heavy puzzles in The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom were fantastic, excruciatingly tricky and humbling. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge had a few brain-twisters, too. But other than that, it’s all been pretty ho-hum, and yes, I’ve not yet played Braid, but do plan to soon.

And so with that said, I’m pretty excited about The Witness, Jonathan Blow’s next game after Braid, and I’ve barely seen much of it in action, just read several lengthy, praising articles over the last couple of days about the stuck-on-an-island puzzler. Which is all about discovery, and listening, and looking–and seeing. Seeing is solving.

The Witness has a Myst feel to it, playing from a first-person perspective and exploring a lush, but isolated and empty island. Why is it people-less? Who are you, anyways? What’s with all the tech? Questions, quizzical uncertainties, a pristine and thriving locale void of human life…only one way to figure it all out, and that’s to go exploring, picking up recordings for deeper insight. There are blue computer screens littered across the island, and they all seem to be connected to a door; to open the door, a player must draw a line from point A to point B, and that sounds simple, but it seems like the kind of thing that can grow dangerously difficult over time. Some of the answers for the line are actually found by looking around at the island; that group of trees, perhaps, with their weird-looking branches; that bird chirping overhead, chirping high then low then high again; these are not just bits of nature, they are answers. Seeing is solving.

It sounds fantastic. However, if I’m truly going to love The Witness, I’m going to have to stop reading about it, as I don’t want to know all the puzzle solutions long and before it even comes out. The lesser known, the better.

And here’s some lo-fi video footage of the game in motion: